- Ms. Plum's direction is nearly flawless. Using a wonderfully simple and practical set designed by Bryan Prywes, the set changes were lightning fast, allowing the pace of the show to proceed in a way that kept most of the audience fully engaged. The Director did a great job of infusing into the sensibilities of each member of this ensemble cast the truth that Shakespeare's antiquated language was not something to fear, but rather a treasure to embrace. The Elizabethan language flowed naturally from the tongues of the cast members and made the story feel real and contemporary.
- The combat scenes, under the steady hand of Fight Captain, Michael Underhill, were choreographed and enacted beautifully. I found myself cringing on several occasions because the wounds being inflicted seemed so real.
- Among a strong ensemble cast, several performances stood out.
- Joey C. Pelletier as Mercutio. Joey needs no spotlight, for wherever he wanders upon the stage, that area is lit by the inner incandescence of the actor. His Mercutio is sometimes almost manic in his speech and mannerisms, and is always mesmerizing. Knowing the story well, I grieved when his character was killed off early in the play, for I wanted to experience more of his perfect blending of physicality and emotionally-charged speech.
- Kiki Samko as Prince - Casting a female actor in this traditionally male role was a bold and brilliant choice. Ms. Samko's presence is authoritative and regal, serving to both open and close the action with commentary on the steep price of hatred that snuffs out the fragile flame of young love.
- June Kfoury as Nurse - This keystone role is played to perfection by Ms. Kfoury - blending low comedy and bathos in just the right mixture.
- Jesse Wood as Paris - As he always does, Mr. Wood creates a three-dimensional character worth caring about through a combination of physical presence, movement, vocal inflection and protean facial features.
- Michael Underhill as Tybalt - Mr. Underhill's Tybalt embodies the pent-up rage simmering just beneath the surface of the members of the feuding clans, the Capulets and the Montagues. His gaunt facial features set in a permanent grimace seem chiseled by the very hand of Revenge.
- Johnnie L. McQuarley as Romeo - While Mr. McQuarley is quite a bit older than the 15 year-old Romeo, he imbues the character with enough adolescent volatility to be credible as a love-sick teenager. He radiates passion and frustration in a high voltage performance.
- Mikey DiLoreto as Benvolio - Mr. DiLoreto has a very distinctive style of acting that works perfectly for the catalytic role of Benvolio. A certain air of supercilious superiority gives him the gravitas to serve as Romeo's alter ego and apologist.
- There are several small moments in this production that glisten like nuggets of 24-carat gold.
- The brief scene in which Romeo implores the Apothecary, played with an appropriate sepulchral air by William Schuller, was magical. I have always paid especially close attention to this scene ever since the Royal Shakespeare Company used it in an iconic fashion in the "play within the play" in their acclaimed production of "Nicholas Nickelby." The scene is full of memorable lines spoken with appropriate gravity, and includes a very nice shtick wherein Schuller fumbles protractedly among the many pockets of his apron to find just the right poison to fulfill Romeo's deadly purpose.
- The early scene in which Nurse prattles on endlessly about her memories of Juliet as a child - much to the consternation of Lady Capulet, played nobly by Tina Blythe. She recalls her days as wet nurse to Juliet, and how she weaned her from the comfort of the breast:
- "When it did taste the wormwood on the nippleOf my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug!"(Act I, Scene 3)
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 730pm
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
All Sundays and Saturday 8/18 and 8/25 at 2pm
Press Night is Saturday, August 11 at 8pm
General Admission: $24
Preview Performance Friday, August 10: $12
Wednesday Industry Nights and all Matinee performances: $12
Boston Center for the Arts
537 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
BOX OFFICE CONTACT:
Phone: 617 933 8600
TTY: 617 424 0694
Michael Anderson: Lord Capulet
Brian M. Balduzzi: Balthasar
Tina Blythe: Lady Capulet
Mikey DiLoreto: Benvolio
Lauren Elias: Juliet
Mark Estano: Gregory/Page
June Kfoury: Nurse
Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia: Abram/1st Guard/Citizen
Johnnie L. McQuarley: Romeo
Joey C. Pelletier: Mercutio
Kiki Samko: Prince/Chorus
William Schuller: Sampson/Apothecary/2nd Guard
Sharon Squires: Lady Montague
Audrey Lynn Sylvia: Servant/Peter/Sister Joan
Michael Underhill: Tybalt
Arthur Waldstein: Friar Lawrence
Jesse Wood: Paris
Director: PAULA PLUM
Production Manager: Vicki Schairer
Assistant Directors: Melanie Garber and Lizette M. Morris
Stage Manager: Michele Teevan
Assistant Stage Managers: Renato Luna Dezzone and Becca Kidwell
Technical Director: Bryan Prywes
Costume Designer: Jillian Clark
Wardrobe Assistant: Erica Desautels
Lighting Designer: Daniel Chavez
Lighting Assistant: Michael Underhill
Marketing Manager: Robyn Linden
Scenic Designer/Set Construction: Bryan Prywes
Scenic Assistant: Shelley Barish
Sound Designers: Melissa deJesus and Chris Larson
Props Artisan/Master: Bryan Prywes
Fight Choreographer: Angie Jepson
Fight Captain: Michael Underhill
Choreographer: Kiki Samko
Board Operator: Michele Teevan